I've never had big fancy birthday to-dos. It kind of goes in hand with having a birthday in June. Growing up most people were on family vacations, and as I got older in college once my birthday rolled around everyone had scattered to the wind returning to their homeland for the summer hiatus. Since I've been married I'm pretty sure Cayce's missed several of them, been deployed or been on duty. This year however Cayce was home, and I was determined to DO something for my birthday. I'm not a big drinker, even less so since Lily, and I knew I just didn't want dinner and a movie. I wanted it to be an experience. I *think* 30 is supposed to be a big deal?
So here we are, once again, living in a coastal region surrounded by water. Which thinking of that, I'm sure it's odd that even though I have lived literally blocks away from the beach (in FL) I still prefer the lakes of Oklahoma to the beach and ocean. But anywho, I digress, I love the water in whatever form. I wanted to do something on the water. So I got the brilliant (so I thought) idea to go kayaking for my birthday. I asked some local friends for suggestions, and we ended up booking a sunset trip on the Chesapeake Bay with Chesapean Outdoors. I was psyched. Overall I think the trip was awesome, but my view of what is awesome may differ significantly from a balanced human being. Because, honestly, it was a disaster. But I had fun!
Disclaimer: Kayaking is a wet activity (even more so in our case) and cameras, phones, valuables, etc. are not recommended. So we bought a cheap water proof disposable camera before our trip. It came in handy. It has been well over 8 years since I've used a traditional camera without a preview screen. I know I used regular cameras relying solely on the viewfinder for 21 years, but man, going old school was a chore. It was fun dropping off the film to be developed anticipating the pictures we'd receive, but I don't want to do it again. So I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.
The trip started out normal enough. Cayce and I were in a tandem kayak.
|Much to my chagrin, one does NOT wear makeup when kayaking.|
|Here is the whole reason I wanted to go on the trip, the dolphins! They came MUCH closer, but I couldn't get a picture of them. Speedy buggers. :-( (In the background is Ft. Story Army post - remember that).|
So we cruised along at a pretty good clip out to Cape Henry looking for more dolphins. We finally headed back after we got a good glimpse of the lighthouses. I don't have a picture. Unfortunately it didn't turn out. Now, while the trip there was pretty easy the trip back, was, ugh. No bueno. Muy mal. The trip is scheduled for 2 hours, so we were half way through with our trip when we turned back. We were fighting the current. All we did was zig zag back and forth. I laughingly told Cayce I'd like to see an aerial view of our path b/c I know we weren't making any progress. On the way out we passed Ft. Story, and kept going for about 500 yards. On the way back I kept my eye on the equipment on the beach to judge the distance traveled. A depressing and daunting method. We just weren't making progress. Finally Cayce realized there was a lot of water in his section of the kayak. The guide and I both told him it was okay. Just natural accumulation. Boy were we wrong. The water was pretty busy that evening, and we kept getting bobbled in the wake. Finally we hit a wave too hard and the inevitable happened, we flipped over. Now here's where a normal person may get mad, but I was thrilled! I was so worn out from fighting the current, and my hips were sore b/c I couldn't stretch my legs out all they way in the kayak so dumping into the ocean actually felt great to me. I floated around stretching out while the guys righted the kayak. It took two tries for me to climb back in, but I eventually did. We got settled and continued on our journey. But not 2 minutes later, back over we went. This time I was a little exasperated. Only because I started thinking we were never going to make it home. So once again I watch the guys maneuver the kayak. However, this time they realize, oh crap, there's a leak in the hull. She's full of water. So, me still happily floating around, watched and took pictures of their "plan" to empty the water out of the hull. Not just water in the seating area of the kayak, but INSIDE, the actual shell.
|Our kayak resting on top of the guide's kayak in an attempt to empty it.|
This plan wasn't working. So at this point our guide decides we should head for shore and empty it there and start over. Yah, that shore over there is Ft. Story. We weren't stepping one foot on land before some uniforms were out there aggressively asking questions. Unfortunately we didn't have our IDs with us either, so saying Cayce was Navy wasn't going to help. So while they keep up this emptying tactic, along comes a savior. A man in a shiny white boat motors over and asks if we would like assistance. We sure would. So the three of them decide to put the kayak up on his swim deck and empty it there. While this is happening Cayce explains it's my 30th birthday. Jokester then hollers to me happy birthday and suggests next year I try something more laid back like jumping out of an airplane. I liked this guy. He then throws out the suggestion that the kayak is probably shot, and we should ride with him back to the park and call it a day. Inside I was screaming YES YES YES! but outside I was cool as a cucumber. Whatever the guys thought was best. Thankfully they opted for the cruise.
|Rescued by For Play|
|One kayak on.|
|Two kayaks on.|
|We returned to the kayaks in about 3.5 feet of water, and made a quick paddle to shore.|
|Two soggy happy customers.|